Visit Dufftown and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Dufftown, Moray. A popular couplet sums up the industrial significance of this “capital of Scottish malt-distilling”:
Rome was built on seven hills;
Dufftown stands on seven stills.
But this quaint town, laid out by James Duff, 4th Earl of Fife, in 1817, has yet the air of a quiet village, and it has many attractions apart from its renown as the home of pure malt whisky. It stands on a plateau in the centre of a great bowl amid the hills. The escarpments of the plateau are washed by the waters of the Fiddich, peat-stained from the shaggy moors of its glen, and its tributary the Dullan, bright with the snows of Glenrinnes. The burgh itself is laid out in the form of a right-angled cross with streets running North, South, East, and West from the square in the middle, in which stands a square tolbooth tower.
Immediately South of the town in the vale of the Dullan is the ancient parish church of Mortlach. It is said to be on this site that in 1010 King Malcolm II, after marching down the Spey and camping with his army in the Queen's Haugh at Carron, routed an army of Scandinavian invaders (“ramscuttered” is the word the chroniclers use), and thereafter fulfilled a pious vow to extend the existing church by three spears' length. The tradition is that St Moluag, from the island of Lismore, had come to the spot in the year A.D. 566, setting up a church, a school, and a farm. What is called the Battle Stone is undoubtedly much older than King Malcolm's victory; it stands over 7 ft high and has Christian symbols on both sides. In 1923 a still older stone, called the Elephant Stone, was unearthed in the churchyard; it is now preserved within the church.
Mortlach is also said to have been the original site of the see of the bishopric transferred to Aberdeen in 1124 by David I.
Dufftown's two other major antiquities are the Castles of Balvenie and Auchindoun. Balvenie, In the care of the Ministry of Public Building and Works, stands above the Fiddich (l½ miles North) as one of the earliest stone castles in Scotland, with the form of a quadrangular court 150 ft by 130 ft enclosed by high curtain walls 7 ft thick. In the 13th century, when it belonged to the Comyns, the living-rooms of the Castle were at the North West and South East sides of the courtyard. From the “Black Douglases”, who owned it after the Comyns, it passed after 1455 to John Stewart, 1st Earl of Atholl. It was the Stewarts who in the 16th century gave Balvenie the shape it has today by demolishing the entire South East front and building instead a three-storey Renaissance tower-house, known as the Atholl Building because it was erected by John, 4th Earl of Atholl, between 1542 and 1550. It has been roofless since 1724.
Auchindoun (3 miles South East of Dufftown) also stands on a bluff above the Fiddich, and its grand old ruins are visible miles away as one approaches along the road from the Cabrach.
Nearby towns: Grantown-on-Spey, Huntly, Keith, Rothes
Nearby villages: Aberlour, Archiestown, Ballindalloch, Craigellachie, Haugh of Glass, Keithan, Kildrummy, Lumsden, Newmill, Orton, Pitlurg, Tomintoul, Torry
Have you decided to visit Dufftown or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Dufftown bed and breakfast (a Dufftown B&B or Dufftown b and b)
- a Dufftown guesthouse
- a Dufftown hotel (or motel)
- a Dufftown self-catering establishment, or
- other Dufftown accommodation